August 08, 2005


Understanding Attention related issues requires attention. Lots of it. Explanation of the need to manage attention properly should not require lot of attention.

I would say Andrew Teman is not off-the-mark in asking for more details on the AttentionTrust project (or company).  Rather abrasive comment was this which I think is broadly applicable to lot of things happening on the blogosphere -

I honestly believe that if someone like Seth Goldstein farted in a mic, recorded it as a .fart file, call it fartcasting, within 5 minutes, everyone on the open media 100 would be hailing it as world changing in a semi co-ordinated cyber circle jerk complete with sloppy track-backs.

Main point is about the purpose of AttentionTrust project. I signed up for this and my "site got approved" (I am still wondering what that means!).  I have no idea what this means. Hopefully I will get to know more about it as this project evolves.

       Verified Member of the AttentionTrust

I signed up because I want to understand how Attention is managed in the conversational threads and what sort of protocols, filters, meme etc play into managing that.  One of our customer is a specialty medical consulting firm based out of Boston. They are getting loads of "healthy patients" looking for guidance on managing attention. Though those are mostly ADD situations.

Why is attention a big problem ? On average a women looses $10000 a year due to attention related productivity issues and women executives close to $40k a year (I dont have stats for men but I would say it should be similar).  This doesnt include cost of relationship damages.
As our society evolves and we technology folks attach  RFID, Sensors, Tags, URLs, Wifi and add-your-favorite-jargon etc to every imaginable piece of matter. 

Perception and cognitive abilities will be pushed severely and will be required  to be managed in parallel. Our biological limitations will be exposed and we will be investing more and more of our resources into future Modofinils.

About AttentionTrust, I will be waiting for more details.

ps: I was distracted 4 times while writing this post.  I distracted myself from other task to write this post !

August 8, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 02, 2005

How about user driven commerce !

Fred Wilson has a good post on the big changes happening due to the advent of user generated content.  According to him -

Until you get user generated content, you don’t get the Internet

I have in the past bitched about how Google is not encouraging this phenomena at all and how Yahoo is learning to open up by getting this thing.

This whole space is in a very formative stage from understanding and business opportunity point of view.  Posting, subscribing and posting are critical rules of engagement but the domains are just getting expanded. We havent added a big market in this yet which is about commerce!

Is adding a product to third party catalog a blog post ?
Taking RSS feed of manufacturer's catalog by distributor a subscription ?
What if all customers start tagging the product pricing and discounts ? Do we need specialized pricing engines in that case?
Can I compare products by aggregating RSS feeds of the catalogs ?

I think user driven commerce has lot of potential and it will be an eventual progression of user driven content.

Those who think blogging is just another fancy form of web publishing are missing a big cultural shift taking place right now.

Read the complete  post here.

August 2, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 01, 2005

Call it strategic networking

Atanu points to this commentary by George Friedman on how the US-India relations suddenly looks interesting. Lot is happening at the strategic level.  September 11 did change the world and the efforts to redraw the world's strategic map are still going on.

George comparing India to China  -

  India is in China's position of 1980. It has a mind-boggling bureaucracy, poor infrastructure and a culture antithetical to rapid development. At the same time, it has the basic materials that China built on. As the Sino-U.S. relationship deteriorates, India can be a counterweight to China -- not in a military sense, but in an economic sense. If the United States has an economic alternative to China for investment, Washington develops leverage in its talks with Beijing on a host of issues. China, after all, still courts investment -- even as the Chinese buy anything that isn't Chinese.

To me this economic undercurrent of this strategic change looks more interesting. I am not betting too much on the geopolitical significance of nation-states in the long run.

Big corporates will bring lot of weight  to the discussion table, significant enough to temper any military ambitions. There will be tensions and limited military engagements but not significant enough to cause widespread destabilization ( though I don't know what Karl Rove is planning after second term !)

So this realignment in world's political Lego will only work its magic in the economic terms. That too in the time-frame where you and I can see the changes. Meaning things will happen fast. If India is where China was in 1980 then India will be where China is by 2015.  Accelerating change phenomena will take over.

At the end of the day  I feel the time is right, finally we are correcting the historical mistake. For years we have been carrying the hazaar f#$%ed baggage of JNU-style socialism.

Now its time to build a strong market driven economy by aligning with US. Two biggest democracies working together - This will be a great story of this century. 

(Also this tag of Superpower gives me creeps - not that I am short on hormones but lets focus on solving the basic problems of life - roti, kapda aur makaan )

August 1, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (2)

July 28, 2005

Why blog?

My father-in-law is here and we used this opportunity to have fun with all the recent tools and gadgets. He is on iBook and happily missing all the problems related to Windows machine.

Today he is playing with Skype and While collecting links on role of blogging in education I came across this good blog. Picked above image from that blog. I like this T-shirt.

July 28, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 27, 2005

One degree factor at play?

As if we needed more proof that the global weather pattern has really gone nuts in recent times. 
Monsoon rain in India's financial hub Bombay caused the life to come to a standstill. Bombay monsoon is infamous for this reason. Every Bombayite knows that there will be couple of days in a year where he or she will be forced to stay back in the office. Everything stops - local trains and every other transport mode. I did this once when I used to work in Bombay. 

I hope situation improves quickly and people get on with their life.  Though something has to be said about this sudden change in the intensity. Part of the reason should go to  The One Degree Factor:


  Dust clouds are building high over the Atlantic. An entire population of caribou is declining, while other species are pushed to the limits of their physical survival in the oceans. A respiratory illness, once uncommon among children in Trinidad, is now widespread. Amazingly, many scientists now believe these disparate phenomena may be linked to global climate change.

This and other such extreme changes happening all over the world constitute new normal. This is not your mother nature playing it's random dance sequence, this is very much our own creation.

Now only if we can stop screwing around with the nature.


July 27, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

July 26, 2005

Learning language can be fun

Try this if you are not convinced.

It's not just the language specific features which excite me about Ruby but also the type of projects and community which is building around this language.

July 26, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 24, 2005


Om Malik points to a very interesting software called  "Ninjam" developed by Justin Frankel, same guy who wrote Winamp and Gnutella.

It's a software which allows people to compose real music over the Internet. Creating music over the Internet is like touching the limits of collaboration itself.  If such a nuanced activity  as music can be created over the wire then pretty much everything is up for grabs. How this software accomplishes this amazing feat?

Since the inherent latency of the Internet prevents true realtime synchronization of the jam2, and playing with latency is weird (and often uncomfortable), NINJAM provides a solution by making latency (and the weirdness) much longer.

This line also caught my attention on their site in the context of artists agreeing to donate a sample music under CC license -

since they agreed to CC license their parts when they connected

This section  "their parts when they connected" is very interesting. In case of open source you step on the legal train when you commit but when you are creating your music over the Internet it's the moment your music connects with others which matters.

Neat stuff.

July 24, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 22, 2005


Just heard one CEO tell the world that his is a very customer focused company.

Having experienced the  painful sign-up and eventually the canceling process for their  service, I am just wondering whether these web2.0 companies understand customer support in the same way as other companies do. It's one thing to provide uber-cool solution but providing boring and essential customer handholding is a different ballgame.

At the end of the day we have to get our job done.  That hasn't changed in web2.0.

July 22, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 19, 2005

Go Arfa

Other reason I like this news besides the obvious achievement by a kid is that it creates  healthy role model for kids in that region. Sort of like what we see here in US in the Spelling Bee phenomena !

From this cached  link

Little Arfa, who is the youngest MCP girl of the world, has invited Bill Gates to visit Pakistan and stay at her home. The invitation was accepted by Mr. Gates who had invited her to his home. She asked him to visit Pakistan and insisted that Gates stay at her home which he accepted and remarked that it would be fun.  

July 19, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

What I wish I knew when I was 20

This goes out to the all the folks who are still in their 20s.  All the points are worth internalizing but this  particular one is my favorite -

The harder I work,  the luckier I get

More useful presentations at STVP website and on this site.

July 19, 2005 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)